A Chicken Box and a Hug

At 1 pm sharp I posted up at my favorite table in the cafeteria, second back from the main thoroughfare facing toward the elevators. From that perch I can indulge my nosiness and have juuust enough distance not to be eyeballed or hovered over by every passerby. While dining on an overpriced turkey sandwich from Whole Foods, my partners, La and Nicole and I got into a discussion about chicken boxes. What is a chicken box you may ask? It is a fried delicacy that is legend in Baltimore. It is also cheap. This box is comprised of fried hard chicken wings (2 for me) and french fries tucked in a box if you’re being literal, or styrofoam if you’re not. It can be found in a hood near you. Typically there’s Plexiglas involved, so you gotta shout your order through the mouth level circle of holes punched into the glass, Can I get a chicken box? Salt, pepper, ketchup! and a half n half! I always decline ketchup because whoever’s serving up the grub is always heavy handed, to the point that ketchup covers the wings. I’m a salt and pepper girl, hold the ketchup.

While La and I wax poetic about our various chicken box experiences, Nicole twists up her face, chicken box, she says with disgust, ugggghhhh! We look at her like she just shook up a can of soda and opened it on us. What’s wrong with you, I ask, why do you hate chicken boxes? I mean its chicken and fries, what’s not to like?

I know, with a good half n half too, mmmmm, says La.

It’s the word, chicken box, it makes me think about a box made of chicken, retorts Nicole.

This comment is met with a round of laughter and some harassment at her expense. We taunt her Yankee by way of Rhode Island snobbery, especially her inability to make peace with our Baltimore vernacular.

We also ask her if she even knows what half n half is; her only response is to turn up her nose. For those not in the know, a half n half is a wonderful tooth disintegrating sweet drink that is a mix of lemonade and sweet tea. Done well, it can be a magical thing. The suburban term for this drink would be the Arnold Palmer, named after the golf legend. None of this moves her though she seems more open to the half n half.

Just as La and I are pinpointing the best places to get a stellar half n half a new character enters the scene, Los. He saunters over to the fridge grabs his lunch, and then regards us as he preps his food at the counter. As usual, he just shakes his head the whole time, he already knows the routine and expects the harassment but today I decide to do things a little differently. Instead of turning on Los, Nicole becomes the target. I reveal her disdain for the chicken box. What, exclaims Los, you can’t be serious! She tries to look at him defiantly but he’s having none of it. Come on, you’ve been in Baltimore, for what…Then he stops and just shakes his head again, that’s what I thought, if a number doesn’t come to mind, it’s been long enough. Nicole looks fake-hurt but quickly recovers standing firm in her anti-chicken box sentiment. We’re gonna work on that, said Los.

We all cackled and somehow the conversation wended its way to Tupac and Biggie. In fact I think I’m the one that took us there. I can’t be sure how I made the transition from chicken box to Tupac and Biggie but I did. Some random stream of consciousness meandered into my brain diverting my path, and bam! I’m telling Los and Nicole how irritated I still am that no one has caught their murderers and that I know there’s some kind of conspiracy blah blah blah… Any hip hop head in the 30 and up club has had this conversation before. While I’m rhapsodizing about the whole thing Los just looks like wow, pointing to me he says, you need a hug, and then turning to Nicole, and you need a chicken box.

Ashy to Classy

…I just wanted an excuse to quote Biggie

Ashy hands

Unkempt eyebrows

Unsaturated lips; desert dunes

Stumped lashes

Unadorned ears & wrists

Unremarkable hair

Now…

Lotioned fingertips

Smoothed & filled eyebrows

Shaped & embellished lips

dashed with color

Elongated lashes

Twinkling earlobes & illuminated wrists

Headbanded hair with flapperesque twist

My transformation

VACAY Days 4-7:Brooklynnnn Zuh!

Above are photos from the remainder of my vacation from last week. I ended the week by heading to Ft. Greene to hang out with my brother and catch up with old friends. I had hoped to see Streetcar Named Desire, a movie I always loved…I mean Marlon Brando was smokin’ back in the day, but imagine the joy of seeing this same story with a black cast led by Blaire Underwood…nuff said! Rather than go to a play as my funds were quite paltry and there were no $10 tickets to be found I did not attend any shows and/or plays…actually side note: if anyone knows how to access the cheapie Broadway tix please share…I simply was outside of Bmore enjoying the sights, sounds, and scents of a city that I can finally visit again now that I have family living in the city. I told my brother that when he moved to Brooklyn my real estate sky rocketed as I like to believe I have a stake and a claim in his living quarters because I have a key to his apartment which is lovely and quite bachelor-like all at once…even better it’s not cramped! So back to my vacay; my brother took me around to some of his favorite eateries and we simply caught up, met up with some of his friends, did a teensy bit of shopping, and relished the rooftop view and cool breeze of an 11th floor panoramic NYC cityscape. The above pictures give you a little taste of the places I visited and of the vibe I enjoyed while out of town. Picture captions starting at the top are as follows:

  • Biggie mural right across the street from Lafayette stop

Thursday night

  • 11th floor rooftop rose’-NYC skyline (don’t know how to add accent above e)
  • 11th floor rooftop dusk-NYC skyline
  • 11th floor straight down BK bound

Friday day to night

  • What the hell are these things called? Close up on sparkly clutch aka a poor man’s Judith Leiber
  • Parsed mussel shells, love the smooth onyx shell @ Wine Bar across from Prospect Park. I had me some Prosecco and also some cheese & olives, love the decadence
  • Woodland Restaurant in Park Slope, pic from back of restaurant, chilled out with my brother, the b.f., and some lovely ladies, enjoyed some more Prosecco, a bitter green salad, and some yummy oysters, turns out the oysters and steak fries with sea salt and an anchovie mayo were dayum good. First off I don’t do mayo too tough on fries and I don’t do anchovies at all, this sauce was mild flavored and not as heavy as mayo, good shit!
  • Remants of bitter green salad from Woodland and some ironic piece of tortilla which would have been far more pleasant had it been bread. In all fairness this was not a tortilla chip but it had no body and I wasn’t interested. Drinks were good though.

Saturday day to night

  • 3 nature pictures are all in Prospect Park down the street from my brother’s spot, took his pooch for a walk and perused the farmer’s market. Like an idiot I brought no money and therefore missed out on some good stuff. Since we ate out so much it would have been a waste but it was nice to pretend as if I might whip up something good
  • Birthday dinner for the b.f. whose name is acutally Courtney but whose semi-privacy I would like to protect, he doesn’t tend to put all his biz on the internet, that being said, his birthday was celebrated per his request over some fine Korean cuisine. We headed to Korea town to Miss Korea BBQ, it was an orgasm for the tongue, the meat melted in my mouth and flavors I couldn’t even try to name lit up my mouth like the dayum fireworks from the 4th of July. We had a bumpy start, a little favoritism when it came to seating but all was forgiven when I sat down and went to town on this amazing fare. Check it out: http://www.misskoreabbq.com/best_korean_bbq_restaurant_nyc/

Sunday

  • Brunch Detritus: met up with my girl nowmee and had some amazing brunch in Ditmas Park at OxCart Tavern http://www.oxcarttavern.com/aboutus.html. The biscuits were huge and tastee and their ‘stuffed’ pancake was more like a huge hollowed out crepe. I was so dayum happy over breakfast, I even ordered a cool summer cucumber basil concoction that was not overly sweet and had just the right amount of vodka to get me a little starry-eyed while feeling refreshed
  • Throwback pics from Sarah Lawrence days. I was clearly under the influence of alcohol or perhaps some cheeba but look at my gal pal Rachel and I in front of the new dorms on what could have been bacchanalia. Btw, that dress I’m wearing that I loved so much, got passed around by all of us girls big time. I wish I knew its origins.
  • Heading out of Brooklyn by car on the BQE (brooklyn queens expressway), no Holland Tunnel traffic jam for me heading out of the city
  • Sunroof pic of the Verrazano Bridge (I think)

Hope you enjoyed my week in pictures.

Living for the Citay: Window Detritus

Ahhhhh once again I’m reminded why living in a city is sooooo worth it- random garbage thrown under the grate of my window. Here we have an empty Gevalia box, a presumably empty LifeStyles condom box, and several empty styrofoam takeout items all blown into a leaf drift. On the same grate I’ve seen someone  allow their dog to get positioned to take a shit, until I banged the window mid-poo and scared the poor dog into sucking it back up the chute. As cruel as it may sound, to me it’s cruel to even imagine looking at my window as some dog poo fossilizes and clings to the grate.

On another occassion the b.f. witnessed an older ‘gentleman’ get out of his car and throw some papers into the grate; deciding this was a battle he felt strongly about, he decided to run outside and confront stranger. He asked if he would want somebody to drive to the suburbs and throw trash on his lawn. I guess dude was too scared or shocked to answer, in fact he might still be high-tailing it, like a cartoon character running over a distant hill, to this very day. 

I just had to share since I was absentmindedly pulling the shades when I noticed this mess and it pissed me off. The worst part is that it’s easier for that crap to get in the grate then it is to get it out! Anyhoo, such is city life and still, despite all my various rants about living in the city, there are enough raves to keep me here.

Ya’ll have a fantastic night and hey, celebrate Biggie, today would be his 40th birthday. My favorite song is ‘I Got a Story to Tell’, find that joint in your collection or head over to Spotify and have a listen.